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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498

Date: March 21, 2013


NEW CASTLE (March 21, 2013) - The public is invited to a March 27 meeting in Georgetown as community members begin to develop a plan to help the state realize the full potential of the Stockley Center and its surrounding property on behalf of the people of Sussex County.

While the Stockley Center continues to serve the needs of some Delaware residents with developmental disabilities, for more than a year, a diverse group of community members has been looking at potential uses of the center's state land and facilities to improve the health and well-being of Sussex County residents.

Last year, the project began by inviting suggestions for potential uses of Stockley from residents and people associated with statewide efforts to support health and wellness for the county's residents. More than 100 people contributed more than 275 suggestions.

The suggestions were divided into four topics, and task forces have been formed to explore how the ideas could fit into the initiative's goals. The topic areas are: recreation and community, learning and education, housing and infrastructure, and medical health and wellness.

The public is invited to discuss the Stockley Center Initiative at an open meeting from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. March 27 in the Sussex County Council Chambers, 2 The Circle, Georgetown.

'We are so grateful for the many suggestions and feedback we have gotten, especially from the people of Sussex County and those who have strong ties to Stockley,' said Rita Landgraf, secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services, which oversees the Stockley Center. 'Now, working with our community partners, we have an opportunity to see how the Stockley Center and its surrounding property can fit into a bigger plan to benefit people's health, fitness and overall well-being.'

'Sussex County is proud to partner with the Delaware DHSS and other stakeholders in the Stockley Center Initiative,' Sussex County Administrator Todd F. Lawson said. 'This property has a long and important history in Sussex County. But with time, the community's needs and the center's delivery of care have changed. We invite all Sussex Countians to help shape the vision for the Stockley Center so that it can continue in its mission of serving the residents of Sussex County to improve the quality of life for all.'

The Stockley Center includes a 50-bed skilled nursing facility and has residences for Delawareans with developmental disabilities. It also has a fully accessible aquatic therapy facility, a full-size gym, medical and dental offices, a computer training center, chapel and daycare center. The center sits on 750 acres of state land, just south of Georgetown, including miles of interlinking trails over varied terrain.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.